Tomáš Čačík, Moravia, Czech Republic
AS some of you may know, Tomas Cacik passed away on the New Year’s Eve 2018. It was one of the most heartbreaking news we had to come to terms with. The good news is though that Tomas’ wife has decided to continue the work done by him and follow his vision for the winery.
“Hard work either passes you by or gets under you skin and absorbs you,” said Tomáš. In his opinion, grapes and wines can be worked many different ways, but not much changed for centuries until about 50 years ago. When Tomas started making wine he tried all the “modern” ways, only to soon realise that rather than making better wines he was coming under the dictate of the technology. He knew that he had to make some radical changes that led him to make wines in a much more traditional, authentic way. He thought about decisions in the vineyards and wineries taken in the last 1500 years. “It must have been done somehow otherwise we wouldn't be making wine anymore”, he thought. And that’s how he started exploring low-intervention approach of winemaking. His vineyards are situated around the small village of Kobyli and farmed organically. He uses autochthonous yeast to ferment the musts and his wines are unfined and unfiltered. Use of SO2 is minimal as well.
Vineyards in Kobylí
The winery holds his vineyards in high esteem saying that the terroir and the vines are like treasures, which have to be given a chance to shine through. It’s great when you can see the winemaker behind the wine you drink and it’s even better if you can picture the vineyard. And that’s where the magic of wine lies in the connection between the man and nature.
Amongst white varieties, he plants Grüner Veltliner 21%, Moravian Muscat 8%, Riesling 8%, Neuburger%, Rulandské bílé (Pinot Blanc) 17%, Pálava 9%, Chardonnay 7%, Sauvignon 10%,Ryzlink vlašský (Welschriesling) 12%, Müller Thurgau 7%.
The reds include Svatovavřinecké (St.Laurent)18%, Cabernet Moravia 19%, Frankovka (Bläufrankisch) 26% , Modrý Portugal (Blauer Portugieser) 26%, and Zweigeltrebe 8%.
Location: Nivka u Skalky, plot U Skalky
Size: 0.6 ha
Planted: 1956, 1994, 1995, 1996, 2009
Number of vines: 3700
Soil: brown, clay
Varieties: Veltlinske Zelene, Neuburger, Müller Thurgau, Modrý Portugal, Frankovka
This vineyard has two parts - old Nivka from 1956 is in a good condition thanks to regular maintenance. There are interesting clones of Gruner Veltliner (known locally as Modry Janek), Neuburger, Muller Thurgau, Blauer Portuguiser, Blaufrankisch and some Welschriesling, Irshai Oliver, Gewurtztraminer, Slovak. This vineyard is mulched with hay and needs to be worked extensively by hand. It gives beautiful aromatic wines especially Neuburger, Gruner Veltliner (Modry Janek) and Blaufrankisch.
Second half of the vineyard was planted between 1994-96 with Neuburger, Pinot Blanc, Muscat Moravia, Blaufrankisch, Muller Thurgau, Chardonnay, St. Laurent and small amount of Gewurtztraminer, and Zweigelt. This plot has grass growing between the rows. In 2009, there were 450 vines of Palava and 300 vines of Muscat Moravia added. These aromatic varieties were planted in parts with poorer soils with heavy clay soils and grafted onto slow growing rootstocks. They still achieve good sugar levels here, but don’t lose acidity, which is very important to keep freshness. Wines from this location tend to have an expansive bouquet.
Location: Padelek po Jarečkovi
Size: 0.6 ha
Number of vines: 520
Soil: brown and clay
Varieties: Veltlinske Zelene, Blauer Portugieser, Pinot Blanc, St. Laurent
This plot belonged to Tomas’ father’s brother. Due to his uncle’s old age, the vineyard wasn’t looked after too well so after a radical reconstruction in 2004 it’s starting to give great results. Pinot Blanc particularly thrives here. Grapes are achieving perfect ripeness and with good balance of acid too. They now have 4 plots of 10 acres, which have 750 plants of Pinot Blanc as in 2012. The original plan was to get rid of the old vines, but they decided to keep them and focus on Gruner Veltliner and St. Laurent.
Vineyard: Padelek pod Vyvozkem
Size: 0.4 ha
Number of vines: 1890
Soil: 1/2 dark soil, 1/2 brown soil and clay.
Varieties: 250 Blauer Portugieser, 250 Cabernet Moravia, 400 Blaufrankisch, 350 Pinot Blanc, 350 Chardonnay, 300 RRV
The youngest vineyard planted just before joining the EU in 2004. This was owned by generations of Tomas’ ancestors, but destroyed during the communist regime in 1984 and the field became part of the government co-op. Tomas re-bought it in 2003 from his uncle and started preparing to plant. He wasn’t looking to experiment and planted varieties they already had with exception of Cabernet Moravia. After initial experiment with no-cover between the rows, which led to erosion grass was planted to cover the soil. This vineyard is situated lower and can be prone to frost damage.
Number of vines: 6900
Soil: light warm soil
Varieties: Muscat Moravia, Riesling, Gruner Veltliner, Pinot Blanc, St. Laurent, Cabernet Moravia, Blaufrankish
By the end of January 1997, Tomas came across a top site on the Lacary hill in Kobyli. He was aware that the pevious owner had cared and looked after the site really well. But he always worked with a check list when he was looking for new sites - 1. A similar varietal structure as he already worked with. 2. The vineyard should ideally have up to 700 heads. 3. To be partially cultivated by the tractor.
When he went in to see the site, at first without much knowledge of the location he did not find it. So had to ask the landlady. His fears did come true — the vineyard couldn’t be worked by machine due to very narrow rows, and the number of heads were at 1,740. He hesitated. Perhaps only the varietal composition matched his. After discussion with a family council and he took the plot under their wings. And the top reason was that the position was/is magical. Tomas used to believe that the wines had superb potential and could only give better expressions as years passed. He had to work a lot in the vineyards, remodeling being one of them. But he believed that his hard work would pay off and the site could only and will do better.In Spring 2009, 700 shrubs were planted of Cabernet Moravia. He always believed in the unforgettable atmosphere and that this was quite possibly going to become a flagship site of their winery in the future. Maybe his vision and love for this site will continue to shine through in his wines.
Wines in the UK
Rulandske Bile (Pinot Blanc) 2016
Cabernet Moravia 2017
For prices, please get in touch with us on at email@example.com